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Improving triplet-triplet-annihilation based upconversion systems by tuning their topological structure.

ABSTRACT

Materials capable to perform upconversion of light transform the photon spectrum and can be used to increase the efficiency of solar cells by upconverting sub-bandgap photons, increasing the density of photons able to generate an electron-hole pair in the cell. Incoherent solar radiation suffices to activate upconverters based on sensitized triplet-triplet annihilation, which makes them particularly suited for this task. This process requires two molecular species, sensitizers absorbing low energy photons, and emitters generating higher frequency photons. Successful implementations exist in solutions and solids. However, solid upconverters exhibit lower efficiency than those in solution, which poses a serious problem for real applications. In the present work, we suggest a new strategy to increase the efficiency of sensitized upconverters that exploits the solid nature of the material. We show that an upconversion model system with molecules distributed as clusters outperforms a system with a random distribution of molecules, as used in current upconverters. Our simulations reveal a high potential for improvement of upconverter systems by exploring different structural configurations of the molecules. The implementation of advanced structures can push the performance of solid upconverters further towards the theoretical limit and a step closer to technological application of low power upconversion.